The Journalists Fellowship Programme was first established in 1980 by the United Nations General Assembly with the aim of exposing junior and mid-level journalists from developing countries to the work of the Organisation.
Reham Al-Farra of Jordan was 29 years old when she died along with other United Nations staff members in the terrorist bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq on 19 August 2003.
Ms. Al-Farra travelled to Baghdad from New York — where she had worked in the UN Department of Public Information — to take up temporary duties in the Office of the Spokesman for the Special Representative.
Before joining the UN nine months earlier, Ms. Al-Farra was the first female daily political columnist writing for Al Arab Al Yawm, a prominent newspaper in Amman. She had also been active at the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists.
In September 2003, the UN Department of Public Information decided to rename its annual training programme for young journalists “The Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists’ Fellowship Programme” in memory of her (see the held at UN Headquarters NY on 29 October 2003, A/C.4/58/SR.16 (paragraph 38).
On 19 September 2003, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan paid tribute to Ms. Al-Farra during a memorial ceremony for those killed in Baghdad: “You chose to work for the United Nations because you wanted to do something for others,” Mr. Annan said. “You went to Iraq to make a contribution to the lives of your Arab brothers and sisters. It is their loss as much as ours that you were denied the chance to do that”.
About the Programme
The annual Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme is a unique opportunity for journalists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The Programme is held for four weeks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The Programme was mandated in December 1980 by UN General Assembly Resolution 35/201 (paragraph III-9) and renamed in September 2003 “Reham Al Farra Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme”. As of 2014, 536 journalists and broadcasters from 166 countries have taken part in the Programme.
The Programme is sponsored annually since 1981 by the United Nations Department of Public Information as a fellowship programme for junior and mid-level broadcasters and journalists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. It also provides journalists with an opportunity to gain first hand experience in the work of the United Nations. It is also an opportunity to meet journalists from other countries and exchange ideas with UN communication professionals. Upon completion of the Programme, participants are expected to continue working in journalism or broadcasting and help promote better understanding of the United Nations in their home country. The Programme is not intended to provide basic skills training to broadcasters and journalists as all participants are already working as media professionals. The Programme also does not lead to employment by the UN.
Meet our 2015 RAF Fellows
Driada Sinani, 27, is an Albanian journalist working for , the public radio broadcaster for Albania. She is part of a team which moderates a network between three public radio stations in West Balkan (radio Tirana, radio Kosovo, and radio Skopje in Macedonia). The main program is called “Without Borders”(Pa Kufij) and it focuses on the country’s political, economic and social issues. Driada also has documentary and reporting experience with Albanian Television. She graduated from the University of Tirana with a bachelors degree in journalism and also has her Masters in science, communications and public relations. At the UN, she is particularly interested in learning about violence against women and child labour issues.
Neha Khanna, 32, is a News Editor/Anchor with , India’s premier and most respected English news channel. Neha is passionate about legal and political journalism and has covered landmark rulings and several elections. She has interviewed the Chief Justice of India and various judges of the Supreme Court. Neha pursued a postgraduate program in Broadcast Journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communications in Delhi. She was chosen for the Hansard Research Scholars Program in Democracy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and interned with the BBC’s Parliamentary Programs Team.
Ece Göksedef, 29, is a diplomatic correspondent for in Ankara. She also worked for Al Jazeera English in its Doha headquarters. A career highlight for Ece was being on the Syrian-Turkish border for many months, collecting data for different cities, towns and villages. Ece has also covered the Second Geneva Conference at the UN Headquarters, held to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. She also has been covering the negotiations in Cyprus held by the UN to solve the issues between the North and the South. Ece studied in Bogazici University and graduated from the department of International Relations and Political Science.
Raimundos Oki, 30, is a political reporter working at the Timor Post Daily Newspaper. Prior to this post, Raimundos worked as a justice and internal security reporter at The Independente daily newspaper. A highlight of his career has been writing stories about women involved in the resistance movement for the Popular Women’s Resistance Organization of Timor-Leste (OPMT). Raimundos graduated from the Public Secondary School of Palaban, earning a Graduate Certificate in Social Science. At the UN, Raimundos is interested in learning about poverty and hunger campaigns.
Menan Khater, 22, is a politics and investigative reporter at , the country’s only independent, English daily newspaper. She also works as a project manager for DNE’s special reporting project “What Lies Beyond” in training/mentoring university students on producing in-depth reports. Menan has won two awards in investigative journalism. In June 2015, she was an assistant researcher in the Swiss leaks project that received “investigation of the year” from the Global Editors Network in Barcelona. In 2013, she received 2nd place for her work on foreign fighter recruitment to Syria from the International Center for Journalists. Menan studied Journalism at Cairo University.
Tefo Edmond Pheage, 28, is a journalist working for a weekly newspaper known as the in Botswana. Prior to this 2011 position, Tefo worked for another weekly newspaper in the country known as the Botswana Gazette. He obtained his Associate Degree in Journalism and Media at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in 2007. He also holds a certificate in Counseling from Boitekanelo Training Institute (a health science school). He primarily covers criminal, political and legal stories. At the UN, Tefo is interested in learning about refugees and asylum seekers and the HIV/Aids response.
Rand Dalgamouni, 25, is a local news editor at , the country’s only English daily. As a core member of the editorial team, she works closely with reporters, edits local stories and contributes to setting the paper’s style and standards. She also covers stories on art, film, culture and society. Rand, who has a BA in English language and literature from the University of Jordan, has participated in international programs and conferences on media, youth and leadership in Jordan, Japan, the US, Switzerland, France, Spain and Poland. At the UN, Rand is interested in learning about counter-terrorism measures and the international refugee crisis.
Durel Borgia Bouesso Boua-Mboutany, 28, is a Congolese reporter for an independent bi-monthly news magazine called TerrAfrica. He has written stories on MDG progress in the Congo and why the MOOCS is failing his country. Durel recently participated in the first sub-Saharan Africa Outsourcing Forum in Brazzaville. He has also completed two internships in Cameroon. One at La Nouvelle, a bi-weekly news magazine, and the other at Cameroon Radio Television. Durel has a Bachelors in Journalism from the Advanced School of Mass Communication at the University of Yaounde. At the UN, Durel is interested in learning about environmental safeguards and counter-terrorism measures.
Yan Wang, 26, is a print journalist working for in China. She mainly covers in-depth reports concerning international relations and China’s foreign affairs. Her exclusive work has focused on China’s arctic strategy and ship Xuelong. She has also pursued stories on US/Chinese think tanks. Her work on Chinese infrastructure business in Kenya had ripple effects on Chinese circles both at home and abroad. She graduated from the Zhejiang University of Media and Communication in China. At the UN, Yan is interested in learning about peacekeeping operations and womens rights.
Mohammad Tauhidul Islam, 34, is a special correspondent for . He specializes in business and economic news with a focus on external trade relations and international organizations. Now he is also focusing his attention on governance and corruption related stories. Mohammad was awarded best reporter in 2012 by the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) for investigating the Niko bribery scandal in Bangladesh and Canada. He has covered the Rana Plaza factory collapse, WTO eight ministerial conference, and the US Presidential Election in 2008. Mohammad is an alumnus of the Reuters foundation and has a degree in International Relations from Dhaka University.
Karen Carrillo Florero, 25, is a journalist with newspaper in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She has been with the local section of the paper for the past 18 months. Karen graduated from San Simon University with a degree in Communication Sciences. She also has a diploma in Higher Education and continues to further her education while she works. Karen is on her way to obtaining a diploma in Intercultural, Power and Gender studies. She also studies Sociology in the same university. At the UN, she is interested in learning about justice and poverty agendas.